Friday, 5 November 2010

Step away from the Fairtrade, you hippy

I buy Fairtrade stuff - I want to cause as little harm as possible, while being aware that it's impossible not to cause some damage within a capitalist system.

Polemicist and philosopher Slavoj Zizek takes a harder line: here's another in the wonderful RSA Animate series.


intelliwench said...

I'm to the point where I can hardly afford to buy ANYthing...
...but that doesn't mean I sleep better ;-)

Neil80 said...

I'd heard of Zizek before, but haven't read any of his work to date. Lots to think about in that clip. Interesting argument about how charitable action prolongs suffering a it delays what is really needed; a change in the system. Poses a bit of a dilemma though. Do we try to help in a small but achievable way or do we focus on campaigning for change?

I think we can do both. The 70s we were onto a good thing; charities like Shelter had a dual campaigning and service provision role, then there's the women's shelter movement , probably the best example of accommodating both charitable action whilst really striving for social change. There's still some of that about in the third sector now, although it has been blunted by charities jumping into bed with government to provide services and in the process submitting to an inspection regime, funding grant application regime and other beauracratic trappings.

So the answer I think is to support charity which embraces campaigning for change.